Good morning. I am Akio Toyoda. First, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year. At the beginning of this year, there were two articles in the news with my name on them.
One was, “Toyota President, Absent from New Year’s Reception”.
I’m sorry if I caused any concern. Being able to give the New Year’s greetings here today I finally feel like it’s the New Year.
The other article was this. With a strong title, I believe many people read it. I also received many sympathetic comments. However, some saw it as a sign that Toyota was moving outside Japan… Please don’t worry. I am not announcing about transferring head office outside Japan.
However, it is true that I felt strongly about something when I went overseas last year.
It was the appreciation given to the automotive industry. This is where there was a big difference between Japan and overseas.
There is a great appreciation overseas for the contributions to regional growth made by the automotive industry. The happiest thing for me is to be asked for continued support…
However, I was never able to feel this way in Japan.
The article reads “…starting to give up on Japan…” But I believe that 2023 is the year Japan will have a chance to share the thoughts of car lovers with the rest of the world.
And the message is…!
“There is a carbon neutral path we can take as car lovers!”
“We don’t want to leave any car lovers behind!”
This messaging begins with Auto Salon and continue on to the “G7.”
This AE 86 Trueno and Levin… These are symbols of this belief.
This Trueno has a hydrogen engine vehicle. However, this is not the engine from the Super Taikyu GR Corolla. We converted the original 4AG into a hydrogen engine.
The Levin on the other hand, is a battery EV. The name has been around for half a century, but the two letters “EV” have always been hidden within its name.
So, it took 50 years for us to finally install a battery and motor to LEVIN. The original 4AG is a treasure so we removed it with the greatest care.
However, the manual transmission is untouched. Clutch and shifting operation can still be enjoyed.
The challenge is:
To continue to drive our beloved cars
Even in an age of carbon neutrality!
Over there is the ST165 Celica that our WRC team Principal Latvala won with the Historic Rally last year. This AE 86 was the master that taught professional driver Masahiro Sasaki, and was restored so that he could always return to his roots…
Besides these two, I have many friends who continue to take good care of their cars.
Everyone loves cars. However, none of them believe the earth is not their problem.
What can they individually do to help achieve carbon neutrality? They are seriously thinking about this.
In talking with these car lovers, I realized that “There is a carbon-neutral world that lies beyond conversion,” like this 86.
Many automakers are targeting a shift to battery EVs by around 2030-40.
However, the reality is that we cannot achieve zero carbon emissions in 2050 simply by switching all new cars sales to EVs.
Units in operation…In other words…
It is important to provide options for beloved cars that are already owned by someone.
There are lots of people here at Auto Salon who wants to enjoy their car life with their favorite cars. Although the AE 86 conversion technology is still under development…By talking about this today with car lovers…
I hope to dismiss the fear that we won’t be able to drive our beloved cars when we go carbon neutral. On the contrary, there is a carbon neutral path that car lovers can take.
If we can get excited for the future perhaps we can send a big message to the world this year!
This is very exciting for Morizo! My fellow car lovers! Each and every one of you are the Chief Engineers moving towards Carbon Neutrality!
Let’s build the future together! Thank you.
Recently on Facebook, there is a gentleman who keeps up posting about AE 86 that he has just acquired. I’d like to hand it over to this gentleman from here. I’d like to introduce the President of GR company, (Koji) Sato.